“Get that (insert curse word) thing away from me!”
The man screamed at me with all his might. Not only did he scream, but rage filled him, his face became red and he appeared to want to beat me up. Very scared, I walked away. He caught up to me with his bike next to him. Fully aware he was there, I didn’t look his way. I just prayed with all my heart that he wouldn’t hit me and I kept walking. God answered my prayers. He passed by.
Now, that morning, I never set out to get verbally assaulted, but I suppose it was my fault. . .
I decided to go to the beach for a walk with God. My goal was to pray, connect with God and to listen to some worship music. I was in the zone. I was loving talking to Jesus. So, as I approached a beautiful scenic boardwalk that ended with the ocean in sight, I opened up my camera app; I wanted to remember the moment. I did see the far-off man a little to the right side of my picture frame, but he made the shot look even better, so I snapped the photo anyway.
And, that’s where my problem began. In retrospect, I didn’t consider that he may not have wanted a photo taken of him. I started to get angry at myself. I made a mistake. I should have been more thoughtful. I ruined my time with God.
It was as if, after this event, my connection to God was — gone.
And, here, it occurred to me that this whole encounter was symbolic of a greater issue: distraction.
If the enemy can’t keep us away from God, he’ll try to distract us away from Him.
How often does a to-do in your mind occur to you right when you start to meet with God?
How often does a text message come in right when you are praying?
How often do house-needs seem to demand you take care of them first?
In my case, a raging man wanted to steal away my time with God, but similarly, silent or quiet demands pull me away in the same way. Power comes when we recognize them for what they are and stay with God anyway.
If your mind gets distracted, just choose to return back to the last thought you can remember you had with God. He waits.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jer. 29:13)